The hearing healthcare industry has two barriers that prevent people from obtaining better hearing:
- The inability to detect hearing loss in the first place (owing to its gradual onset), and
- The temptation to find a quick, easy, and inexpensive remedy.
Regrettably, numerous people who have overcome the first barrier have been lured into the apparently “cheaper and easier” practices of addressing their hearing loss, whether it be through the purchase of hearing aids on the web, the purchase of personal sound amplifiers, or by heading to the big box stores that are much more concerned with profits than with patient care.
Despite the lure of these quick remedies, the fact is that local hearing care providers are your best bet for better hearing, and here are the reasons why.
Local hearing care providers use a customer-centric business model
National chain stores are successful for one reason: they sell a high volume of low-priced goods and services at low prices in the name of larger profits. National chains are focused on efficiency, which is a courteous way of saying “get as many people in and out the door as rapidly as possible.”
Granted, this profit-centric model works great with most purchases, because you probably don’t require expert, personalized care to help select your undershirts and bath soap. Customer service simply doesn’t factor in.
However, problems result when this business model is extended to services that do necessitate professional, personalized care—such as the correction of hearing loss. National chains are not focused on patient outcomes because they can’t be; it’s too time-consuming and flies in the face of the high volume “see as many patients as possible” business model.
Local hearing care providers are completely different. They’re not obsessed with short-term profits because they don’t have a board of directors to report to. The level of success of a local practice is centered on patient outcomes and high quality of care, which results in satisfied patients who remain faithful to the practice and spread the positive word-of-mouth advertising that creates more referrals.
Local practices, therefore, thrive on delivering quality care, which will benefit both the patient and the practice. By comparison, what occurs if a national chain can’t deliver quality care and happy patients? Simple, they use nationwide advertising to get a constant flow of new patients, promising the same “quick and cheap fix” that enticed in the original customers.
Local hearing care providers have more experience
Hearing is complex, and like our fingerprints, is unique to everyone, so the frequencies I may have difficulty hearing are distinct from the frequencies you have difficulty hearing. In other words, you can’t just take surrounding sound, make it all louder, and pump it into your ears and count on good results. But this is in essence what personal sound amplifiers, along with the cheaper hearing aid models, accomplish.
The truth is, the sounds your hearing aids amplify—AND the sounds they don’t—HAVE to match the way you, and only you, hear. That’s only going to come about by:
- Having your hearing professionally examined so you know the EXACT attributes of your hearing loss, and…
- Having your hearing aids professionally programmed to intensify the sounds you have difficulty hearing while differentiating and suppressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background noise).
For the hearing care provider, this is no simple task. It takes a great deal of training and patient care experience to be able to carry out a hearing test, help patients choose the right hearing aid, skillfully program the hearing aids, and furnish the patient training and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. There are no shortcuts to dispensing comprehensive hearing care—but the results are worth the time and effort.
Make your choice
So, who do you want to leave your hearing to? To someone who views you as a transaction, as a consumer, and as a means to achieving sales goals? Or to an experienced local professional that cares about the same thing you do—helping you acquire the best hearing possible, which, by the way, is the lifeblood of the local practice.
As a basic rule, we recommend that you avoid buying your hearing aids anywhere you see a sign that reads “10 items or less.” As local, experienced hearing professionals, we provide thorough hearing healthcare and the best hearing technology to suit your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Still have questions? Give us a call today.